Who runs the world? Girls. Who needs to run our financial accounts, save and make big girl life decisions? Us too. Noone likes to think about the ‘what if’ scenarios, although being well prepared should anything happen, will help you in the long run, should that unfortunate day ever come.
Liberty says that women should have a unique financial plan suited to their individual needs. The financial institute has been running a series of workshops titled financial mastery for the modern woman. The workshops focus on practical financial and life skills, that women should adopt, on their journey to financial freedom.
Daphne Rampersad, Investment Planning Manager at Liberty stated that women live longer, earn less and save less. This is due to a number of factors like how they often need to care for their families and take extended time off work for life changing events such as falling pregnant (taking maternity leave). These are elements of financial planning that most men don’t have to deal with. So it’s up to us to be in charge of our financial futures.
“Women tend to rely on spouses, but with divorce rates rising, they could be losing out on 20 years of savings,” said Faeeza Khan, Legal Marketing Specialist at Liberty. To overcome these challenges, it’s necessary for women – from housewives to professionals – to have a unique financial plan of their own, especially with the high rate of divorce. You should also be prepared for the unexpected such as a serious illness, retrenchment or loss of life.
Your financial awakening
Money remains a sensitive, often daunting topic for many South African women. It is usually when a financial awakening takes place that one assumes full control of their finances. This financial awaking could come in the form of a death in the family, a dissability in the family or even from earning your first salary.
“Your financial plan should reflect your life aspirations, goals and circumstances. To do this effectively you need a skilled financial adviser on your side to achieve your goals.
“Insurance cover, especially critical illness or dread disease cover should be a huge consideration for women. This is one of the most important benefits for women who take up risk insurance cover as we are seeing more claims from women with critical illness such as a cancer, which is the leading cause of claims,” added Dr Dominique Stott, Liberty’s Chief Medical Officer. She also said the women should have medical check-ups at every life stage to manage and possibly get early treatment in the event of any diagnosis.
Your Financial Mastery Book of Life
Also discussed, was the importance of having a Life Book which helps you to organise and plan your financial journey according to your individual lifestyle. This file should contain all the documents your loved ones will need in order to settle your affairs when you are unable to do so yourself.
The file should contain highly important personal and financial information under these categories:
Personal Information: This includes certified copies of your IDs, title deeds, certificates and account statements.
Assets and Liabilities: Covers property deeds, bond agreements, vehicle registration papers, firearm licenses etc.
Insurance and investments: Under this section you should file all your life policies, short-term insurance policies and all your relevant investment information.
Last Will and Testament: Finally and perhaps most importantly, the file should include your updated Will, which should be revisited and amended whenever your experience major lifestyle changes such as the birth of a child, marriage or the purchase of new investments and assets.
With 40% of South African households headed by women, these conversations should not be left to chance.
“To ensure that you’re on the right path, check in with your financial adviser at every life changing event such as the change of jobs, a new baby, a marriage or separation or even divorce, or even when you get a huge financial boost either during a bonus period or in the case of entrepreneurs, a huge client pay-out. An adviser will help you plan, prepare and protect your assets, family and most importantly, your life,” concluded Rampersad.